American families will be able to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table this year for only pennies more than last year, according to Farm Bureau's annual Thanksgiving market basket survey. The average cost of this year's feast for a family of 10 is $43.47, a 56-cent price increase (approximately 6 cents per person) from last year, but $1.14 cheaper than two years ago, $44.61. The price of the big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – actually decreased 99 cents this year.
"We're seeing a slight uptick in overall food prices that's consistent with the moderate price increases across the board as the U.S. economy and consumer demand recover," says Dave Miller, an economist who is director of research and commodity services for Iowa Farm Bureau. "Even with this small increase, the affordable prices, security and food safety American consumers enjoy is an incredible value that can't be matched anywhere else in the world."
The informal market basket survey includes hearty portions of items such as sweet potatoes, stuffing, green peas, rolls, fresh cranberries, pumpkin pie mix, and two goods Iowa specializes in producing: turkeys and milk. Iowa's growing turkey population ranks ninth in the country; Iowa's milk production ranks 12th.
Iowa crop & livestock farmers play important role in feeding people
"Iowa's crop and livestock farmers are proud and thankful to be able to play an important role in feeding families in our state and around the country this Thanksgiving," says Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lang, who is a dairy farmer from Brooklyn in east-central Iowa. "Iowa is blessed with the abundant natural resources that allow farmers to provide us with food choices. That bounty should be shared; everyone deserves food security and choices."
This is Farm Bureau's 25th annual informal survey of classic Thanksgiving Day food items. More than 112 volunteer shoppers, representing every region in the nation, participated.